Tuesday, October 30, 2007

autumn leaves.

Today was a beautiful fall day. Sunny, breezy, and cool but not cold. Today was our autumn leaf day - and the boys had a great time. We did 3 simple crafts using leaves we collected from our teeny tree, and read a few books related to fall!

This morning we collected leaves from the ground in our yard. Several of them we put into the pages of a magazine and weighed down with books while we had breakfast and prepared our materials.
The rest of the leaves were placed on a baking pan and put into the oven on LOW heat (I warmed mine up to the lowest temp, then turned it off before adding leaves) for less than 10 minutes. I didn't want to cook them, just dry them. Once out of the oven we crumbled them easily into 2 bowls.

First we painted a tree base onto watercolor paper. I helped (obviously) since my boys are little. We used black watercolors. We also got the rest of our supplies ready. Glue, glue brushes, plates, blank cards, watercolor paper, and glitter glue. While the watercolors dried we read the first of our two fall books.

We came back to our base and the boys squeezed glue all over the tree. They then took the crumbled leaves and sprinkled them all over the glue. Very cool effect (oh, and I got the idea for the cool crumbled leaf craft here - I just modified it to our supplies and ages).

We took our pressed leaves out of the pages for our next craft. The boys painted glue on the back of the leaves, and then applied them to blank cards. They finished them with a light coating of glue (ModPodge would be fine too) on the top to seal it/keep them flat.

They of course wanted to keep gluing and gluing so I was ready with a piece of heavy paper for them to apply the bigger leaves to. They did the same process as for the cards, but also mixed glitter glue in with the regular glue so that when they coated the top there was a little rusty colored sparkle.

While everything dried we had a snack and read our second fall book. The crafts were easy and quick and the leaves were from our own yard. AND they now have a few cards to mail to family that they made, and a few artsy pieces to hang up!

The books we read today with our crafts were:

Why do leaves change color? by Betsy Maestro

It's Fall by Linda Glaser

We also got to play soccer in the yard, draw with sidewalk chalk, bake pumpkins, and work on the Halloween costumes! What a day!


Jodi Anderson said...

What a GREAT project!! I think that might daughter might still enjoy this ... even at 15!

Cami said...

Your trees are beautiful! I love how you modified them for your boys. Thanks for the link ;) I really like the way your leaves turned out, too, with the rust-colored glitter added -really gorgeous!

Lizz said...

So much fun. Your ideas are fantastic, your kid's hair alwasy great and good reading, cooking...

Can I come over?

Happy Halloween to you!

Kitty Mommy said...

Very nifty projects! We might have to give one or more of these a try!

tiff said...

ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! Those trees should be framed and placed in a gallery...they really are lovely!

I think the boys' would love to have an art teacher like you...you are just so extremely creative with your little guys!

Happy Fall...Happy Halloween!

denise said...

Thanks for the idea Cami - you always do the most amazing crafts. I still want to do the decorated walking sticks one day -- when my guys are perhaps a little older.

And everyone else -- post pix if you do some too. It is interesting how different the leaves are in different areas let alone just differences in how kids approach it.